|OT| Steam regional pricing is getting worse over time

texhnolyze

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I've been championing Steam regional pricing over the past several years. For a 3rd world country with high percentage of software piracy like Indonesia, regional pricing was such a huge blessing not only for end users like me, but also lots of business-oriented folks over here. The Steam cards and gift resellers are growing tremendously in the past few years, because there are more Steam users now more than ever and we're still growing. Ease of use and purchase is the major factor, as you can buy them online or via your local minimarket with various payment methods. Steam actually opened up lots of jobs and grew the economy quite significantly here.

However, Steam regional pricing is not as good anymore these days. Lots of games, especially those from big publishers don't get as good regional pricing anymore as in the past (or it was just never good). From my observations, the publishers are slowly leaving regional pricing behind over the past few years. Previously, I can regularly get $60 games for $30, even lower in some cases. But today, it's becoming a pretty rare occurrence for big games. Some examples are (converted from IDR to US$):
CDPR
The Witcher 3: $38
Cyberpunk 20877: $50

Bethesda
The Evil Within: $28
The Evil Within 2: $58

Rocksteady
Mortal Kombat X: $27
Mortal Kombat XI: $49

SquareEnix
Just Cause 3: $27
Just Cause 4: $48

Deep Silver
Metro Exodus (2018) : $27
Metro Exodus (2019): $48

Activision
COD Black Ops III: $40 (2015)
COD Black Ops III: $55 (2017~now)
Yes, you read that right, Deep Silver increased the price while it's still in pre-purchase phase and Activision increased the price 2 years after the game is released. And after that, all of their games are almost full $60 here. Meanwhile, Bandai Namco and Ubisoft never exactly followed the regional pricing guideline that well, buat at least they've been pretty consistent with their $45-$50 pricing. And there's SEGA that consistently priced their Japanese games at full US$ conversion here. I could give you more examples, but it's mostly the same the same story for big publishers. That said, there are publishers who still honor it, such as Capcom who still regularly price their newest games at $35. Mid-tier publishers are also still quite generous and I won't deny that fact.

I don't like where this is going, the future is certainly grim with publishers getting greedy and greedy if nothing is being done. It's like everyone is really trying their hardest to get me out of their potential customer. Is there anything we can do as customers?

In this thread, we can also discuss the pricing of new games and how they are compared to the other games previously.
 
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fsdood

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I sorta agree and disagree on some cases. Most of the big publishers have always done shitty regional pricing. Just checking on Steamdb and it's usually 10% increase or more, though surprisingly they slash game prices for 50% like what WB games does and most indies I find are much better priced then in the US. What I hate is how inconsistent for companies like Sega to price their games and their sequels (Valkyria 1's price was decent but VC4's price barely changed from USD).

iirc someone on meta said that big publishers have their own data about the purchasing power of other countries, so that might be why they priced it that way. It kinda sucks but it's better then nothing...For me, PSN is much more expensive at times and steam is the only alternative for cheaper games though if things does get worse then idk what to do.
 
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KainXVIII

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Everybody should specify their regions (for the sake of convenience), i think.
Can't say that steam regional prices are getting THAT bad in our region (Russia), price for typical AAA game (Cyberpunk 2077 or Doom Eternal) is still 1999 rubles = ~$31, except for some greedy publishers, of course they are from Japan - SEGA (Team Sonic Racing), S-E (Octopath) or Koei Tecmo (in the past, now they corrected prices to typical 1999 rubles).
But other stores are much worse: Origin with freaking 3500 rubles ($55) for Star Wars or FIFA (don't care about EA games at all, but still alarming) or Uplay with 3000 rubles ($47) for a new game.
Surprisingly, EGS prices are pretty reasonable (except Ubi games, of course) lol. Same with GoG and even fucking Blizzard (1999 rubles for COD:MW).
 

m_dorian

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I happen to make purchases under EU pricing which sometimes is ok but I understand there are so many problems with regional pricing and some companies refuse to have a helping stance.
More pressure upon the issue needs to be applied.
 
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texhnolyze

texhnolyze

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Anyway, how are the pricing of those games listed above in your regions?

Also, here's another example. Tokyo RPG Factory pricing in my region:

I am Setsuna - $20 (from $40)
Lost Sphear - $33 (from $50)
Oninaki - $46 (from $45)
 

fsdood

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Anyway, how are the pricing of those games listed above in your regions?
Here, MK 11 is $25.51 compared to $59.99
Evil Within 2 is $15.93 compared to $14.99 (it's on sale)
Cyberpunk is $61.06
Just Cause 4 is $66.39
BLOPS 3 is $66.39

Yep, almost everything is expensive, lol. Not really worth it to buy these in my country unless they're on a huge sale, which ironically will still be lower then on consoles
 
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Panda Pedinte

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Many publishers are not following the suggested regional price here, some of them like SEGA seems to just randomly choose prices for their games.

CDPR also stoped following Valve's suggestion and even on GoG the price is the same for my region:

Cyberpunk 2077: $52.97
 
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gabbo

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Shouldn't the title be "publishers abandoning regional pricing"? Not really steam's fault if publishers try to gouge.

It certainly does seem like some are playing in bad faith, though. Activision just completely off the reservation raising the price years after release for instance.
 

KainXVIII

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CDPR
The Witcher 3 (not goty): $19
Cyberpunk 2077: $31

Bethesda
The Evil Within: $10 (pricedrop?)
The Evil Within 2: $31

Rocksteady
Mortal Kombat X: $14 (xl is cheaper btw)
Mortal Kombat XI: $19

SquareEnix
Just Cause 3: $7 (pricedrop?)
Just Cause 4: $31

Activision
COD Black Ops 2: $41 (lol)
COD Black Ops 3: $31
 

PhaZZe

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Bethesda fucked up the prices the same day regional pricing in chile was released.
Now the diference clp peso vs us dollar is minimal, like 8% (50usd) for a new game.
And checking the prices clp peso vs arg peso some prices are the same when arg should be more cheap because economy situation.
One or two years more and no more regional pricing, everything will be 60 or more in some regions :(
 

Digoman

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Over here (Brazil) EA and Bethesda adopteded almost parity with the US price some time ago. But now everyone is following.

I tried to take into account currency fluctuation so I'm putting both local currency (R$) and dollars ($), but to look at just two publishers:

- Witcher 3 - 13-Abr-2015
I think pre-order price (without discount) was R$100 ($33). Soon after it was already R$130 ($43)

- Cyberpunk - today
R$200 ( $54 )

Sidenote: Cyberpunk launched in Argentina with a good price of $30, but now it's $51.

However, things get really messy when looking at Ubisoft, because you have to look at more than the base version. They were pretty consistent before.

- Assassin's Creed Origin - 26-Oct-2017
Standard: R$160 ( $50 )
Gold: R$200 ( $60)

- Assassin's Creed Odyssey - 26-Sep-2018
Standard: R$160 ( $41)
Gold: R$200 ( $51 )

- The Division 2 - 15-March-2019
Standard: R$160 ($41)
Gold: R$200 ($51)

And now we enter their new strategy:

- Ghost Recon: Breakpoint - today
Standard: R$170 ( $45 )
Gold: R$300 ( $81 )

- Watchdogs Legion - today
Standard: R$200 ( $54 )
Gold: R$350 ( $94 ).

I don't remember the numbers now but I think they did something similar in Russia. Even if you think they are only increasing the price because of currency devaluation (like that matters to the local customers), what they are doing with Gold editions is... nasty.

As for the others, both the new Star Wars and Doom game were priced to be at around $60 but since at the moment our currency is a little better, they are at $64 and $67. Octopath is $60, and so on.

So.. yeah... regional price is a thing of the past for most big releases. Indies still do it, but I expect the bigger one to try to follow the same strategy, and then of course complain they are not selling.
 

lashman

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Sidenote: Cyberpunk launched in Argentina with a good price of $30, but now it's $51.
that wasn't a good price for Argentina ... volvo's suggestion for $60 is around $15 for Argentina

but I expect the bigger one to try to follow the same strategy, and then of course complain they are not selling.
some are already trying ... Inti tried it recently with Blaster Master Zero (no regional pricing whatsoever) ... same with Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (also no regional pricing at all) ... both had to fix it when people started complaining and no one was buying either game
 
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fsdood

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some are already trying ... Inti tried it recently with Blaster Master Zero (no regional pricing whatsoever) ... same with Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (also no regional pricing at all) ... both had to fix it when people started complaining and no one was buying either game
The most annoying thing is when you call them out on how it's more expensive then it should be in those regions, they stay radio silent. unless a collective group complains about them like what they did to blaster master zero, then nothing changes.

tbh this thread made me rethink on buying future games with no good regional pricing unless they're on a huge sale, screw that shit.
 

lashman

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The most annoying thing is when you call them out on how it's more expensive then it should be in those regions, they stay radio silent. unless a collective group complains about them like what they did to blaster master zero, then nothing changes.
oh, absolutely ... they won't respond unless there's A LOT of people complaining

and even then there's no guarantee they'll actually fix it either
 

EdwardTivrusky

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Seriously, don't support crappy regional pricing. You can see companies testing to see how much these markets will take and unless there's pushback they'll gauge you for all they can get. I love videogames but fuck companies profiteering off of less prosperous markets by charging US prices there. Buncha Corporate Leeches can GTFO and don't let the door hit their arses on the way out.
 
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lashman

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Seriously, don't support crappy regional pricing. You can see companies testing to see how much these markets will take and unless there's pushback they'll gauge you for all they can get. I love videogames but fuck companies profiteering off of less prosperous markets by charging US prices there. Buncha Corporate Leeches can GTFO and don't let the door hit their arses on the way out.
that's how capitalism works - they always want more ... regardless of how much they already have

so they'll never stop trying to find ways to squeeze more money out of people, sadly
 

EdwardTivrusky

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Yeah, and telling them to shove their pricing up their arses is the best way to respond. Keeping your money away from them and letting them know how much money they are not getting from you is pretty much the only way to change things... until the next time they try it on. Sadly.
 

Digoman

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that wasn't a good price for Argentina ... volvo's suggestion for $60 is around $15 for Argentina
Sorry, forgot to put that "good" in quotes. But at least it was better in comparison with ours over here.

some are already trying ... Inti tried it recently with Blaster Master Zero (no regional pricing whatsoever) ... same with Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (also no regional pricing at all) ... both had to fix it when people started complaining and no one was buying either game
Wow, Professor Lupo went from +20% to -48%.54 over here. Blaster Master Zero on the other hand... from +14% to -5.46% (but it did get better prices in other places).

Bad regional prices, no marketing and a very crowded field... that's a recipe for success :p (of course, it will be everyone else faults if/when the game doesn't sell).

It is annoying seeing the same thing happen over and over again. After greatly reducing piracy in several regions with convenience and good prices, I'm guessing is time to learn the same lessons again. Big publishers can try to hide behind the whole GaaS model - at least for a while - but indies are fucked.... well... more fucked than the usual.
 

lashman

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Sorry, forgot to put that "good" in quotes. But at least it was better in comparison with ours over here.
ah, of course ... and yeah

It is annoying seeing the same thing happen over and over again. After greatly reducing piracy in several regions with convenience and good prices, I'm guessing is time to learn the same lessons again. Big publishers can try to hide behind the whole GaaS model - at least for a while - but indies are fucked.... well... more fucked than the usual.
yeah, it's such a damn shame

the only think shit like this accomplishes in those poor countries is that people who were previously buying those games are probably just going back to pirating them

and it's really damn sad :(
 
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texhnolyze

texhnolyze

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Shouldn't the title be "publishers abandoning regional pricing"? Not really steam's fault if publishers try to gouge.

It certainly does seem like some are playing in bad faith, though. Activision just completely off the reservation raising the price years after release for instance.
But Steam is the platform owner. Shouldn't they have some kind of responsibility to empower their regional pricing guideline a bit more?

Latest offender, i expect this from japanese devs, but not from small indies, fuck them :minos_angry:
How much is it when converted to US$ in your region?

It's $19 over here. Not bad, but not great either. Indies with that kind of price range are usually $12-15 over here.
 

KainXVIII

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But Steam is the platform owner. Shouldn't they have some kind of responsibility to empower their regional pricing guideline a bit more?


How much is it when converted to US$ in your region?

It's $19 over here. Not bad, but not great either. Indies with that kind of price range are usually $12-15 over here.
$25.6 (with discount)
Blazing Chrome is $6 and Bloodstained is $24 for comparison

And GoG version is cheaper for some reason - $18.5
 
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lashman

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Wait, have they actually updated the prices or what? Russian price is still the same as what KainXVIII posted above.
not yet ... they sent updated prices for volvo to approve or something ... but only for those 4 countries they mentioned, not all of them (as they should have)
 
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texhnolyze

texhnolyze

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not yet ... they sent updated prices for volvo to approve or something ... but only for those 4 countries they mentioned, not all of them (as they should have)
I see. Yeah, it's always frustrating when they do this. They also updated Bloodstained price for select countries, but not the others. :disapproval-blob:
 
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lashman

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I see. Yeah, it's always frustrating when they do this. They also updated Bloodstained price for select countries, but not the others. :disapproval-blob:
yeah, it fucking sucks ... but at least people are complaining in a few threads ... so maybe they'll change more than just those 4
 
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RionaaM

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Here in Argentina we got pretty lucky with regional pricing at first, but many publishers have been screwing us up since then. Konami is the main offender, with Castlevania Anniversary Collection costing three times the US price, and PES costing literally a kidney and a half (good thing I don't like football). But they aren't the only ones: Ubisoft has been retroactively increasing their good prices for older games, which means someone went and deliberately chose to make everything more expensive.

CDPR had a great price for Cyberpunk, which of course they later decided we didn't deserve so they raised it as just $9 under the US price (wish my salary was raised the same way too). Bethesda, on the other hand, was honest from the start about their contempt for us and always sold Doom Eternal for $10 less, and the deluxe edition for an extra $4 compared to what our American folks have to pay.

Shout out to Mark Bungie, who had put Destiny 2 at an excellent price and then changed it due to a post in their forums ranting against regional pricing and how unfair it was. After lots of people complained, they realized it was wrong and changed it back, so I'm glad they cared enough to listen to feedback.
 

EdwardTivrusky

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What kind of a miserable pile of fleshy secrets do you have to be to complain about regional pricing?!
You're either a total edgelord douchebag doing it for the "lulz" or you do not understand the concept at all.
Do people not have better things to do with their time?
 

gabbo

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But Steam is the platform owner. Shouldn't they have some kind of responsibility to empower their regional pricing guideline a bit more?
How does steam go about implementing that? Serious question. Valve could try to lean on publishers to follow guidelines, but at the end of the day, if publishers don't like it they'll either price as they see fit or leave Steam, neither of which is good for the consumer.

And a certain someone in North Carolina would gladly have them for PR purposes if they did.
 

fsdood

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yeah, it fucking sucks ... but at least people are complaining in a few threads ... so maybe they'll change more than just those 4
I think we need to have a community that pressures publishers or make light of these issues to others. If it started to affect even indie games, then many will resort to pirating and no one wants that

Shout out to Mark Bungie, who had put Destiny 2 at an excellent price and then changed it due to a post in their forums ranting against regional pricing and how unfair it was. After lots of people complained, they realized it was wrong and changed it back, so I'm glad they cared enough to listen to feedback.
How is it unfair? People have different income levels in different countries. This guy thinking everyone lives cozy lives with infinite money, lol. Good on Bungie for listening and changed it back to be more affordable though.
 
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Digoman

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But Steam is the platform owner. Shouldn't they have some kind of responsibility to empower their regional pricing guideline a bit more?
Valve can't really do anything more than to suggest the conversion rate. Trying to enforce prices would be a disaster and it simply isn't compatible with the whole "no curation" thing.

Ubisoft isn't even on Steam anymore and is also raising prices in several (if not all) regions, so this is a general gaming industry problem.

Shout out to Mark Bungie, who had put Destiny 2 at an excellent price and then changed it due to a post in their forums ranting against regional pricing and how unfair it was. After lots of people complained, they realized it was wrong and changed it back, so I'm glad they cared enough to listen to feedback.
I didn't know about the Destiny 2 temporary price bump.... it went from $9 to $35? No wonder people complained. Unfortunately in most cases it doesn't come back down. You guys appear to be experiencing an accelerated version of what we got over here (Brazil). Starts with good regional prices and then a manager somewhere takes a look and says "they are paying this little for our game??? No way, multiply that by 2 or 3". Then you get some crazy prices that are probably randomly chosen.

We are at a point that if I see a good regional price I feel really pressured to immediately pre-order because chances are it's going to be "corrected" soon.... :(
 
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texhnolyze

texhnolyze

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How does steam go about implementing that? Serious question. Valve could try to lean on publishers to follow guidelines, but at the end of the day, if publishers don't like it they'll either price as they see fit or leave Steam, neither of which is good for the consumer.

And a certain someone in North Carolina would gladly have them for PR purposes if they did.
Valve can't really do anything more than to suggest the conversion rate. Trying to enforce prices would be a disaster and it simply isn't compatible with the whole "no curation" thing.

Ubisoft isn't even on Steam anymore and is also raising prices in several (if not all) regions, so this is a general gaming industry problem.
I'm not trying to get them to enforce it. Maybe post a blog post, send email blasts to the publishers, or something about the current state of Steam regional pricing and/or how it is good for building trust with customers and how it'll affect their business in the long run, etc. Just for a reminder.
 

lashman

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I'm not trying to get them to enforce it. Maybe post a blog post, send email blasts to the publishers, or something about the current state of Steam regional pricing and/or how it is good for building trust with customers and how it'll affect their business in the long run, etc. Just for a reminder.
but all those publishers already know that ....

it's not that they don't know ... they just don't give a fuck

i mean - pretty much all of them had that regional pricing at some point ... and then started raising the prices little by little ... they know EXACTLY what they're doing

even the fact that they have to go out of their way to actually set those regional prices one by one (as opposed to just selecting the US one and letting volvo's suggestions convert that to proper regional prices automatically) ... this absolutely means they know full well what they're doing

and they also know full well how people react to those raises in poor countries ... there are ALWAYS threads upon threads in the steam forums (and reddit, and their own forums, and twitter, and probably also support emails) ... so it's not like they aren't aware

they just really, truly, deeply don't give a singular fuck

like how ubi went out of their way to go back to their old-ass games on steam and raise prices on all of those - something paradox was almost crucified for doing ... but they at least listened to people and changed them back ... ubi just doesn't give a fuck ... even more so now that they aren't on steam anymore ... so they get 100% of each sale ... and truckloads of cash from epic ... and STILL all of that isn't enough for them to go back to proper regional pricing ... in fact - they're still raising their prices (their egs regional prices are even higher than their last games on steam)
 

RionaaM

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What kind of a miserable pile of fleshy secrets do you have to be to complain about regional pricing?!
You're either a total edgelord douchebag doing it for the "lulz" or you do not understand the concept at all.
Do people not have better things to do with their time?
The worst part is the fucker who complained admitted he had bought the game at that price before reporting it. So not only he's an asshole, but he also engaged in the very practice he was condemning.

How is it unfair? People have different income levels in different countries. This guy thinking everyone lives cozy lives with infinite money, lol. Good on Bungie for listening and changed it back to be more affordable though.
Heck if I know. It's probably a mix of lack of empathy and seeing other people getting "benefits" they don't get. Of course, I'd trade low game prices for better living conditions and wages, and less expensive tech overall any day, but they probably don't know or care about it. They just see cheap games and get mad they have to pay more, context be damned.
 

MegaApple

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OH SHIT! LATE ON THIS.
So I champion fair and consistent regional pricing for India on Steam ( lashman can verify to that). I have like million cases to discuss and things to talk, but I'm in the middle of the night preparing for tests, so I'll sum up with this tweet (please open this thread).

And also this amazing article :
 
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texhnolyze

texhnolyze

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OH SHIT! LATE ON THIS.
So I champion fair and consistent regional pricing for India on Steam ( lashman can verify to that). I have like million cases to discuss and things to talk, but I'm in the middle of the night preparing for tests, so I'll sum up with this tweet (please open this thread).

And also this amazing article :
Great articles, and great timing. I wonder if anyone can also link this thread to Zhuge's conversation to show that it's not only a problem in India, but also many other regions.
 
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fsdood

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Nice article MegaApple , kinda sucks that there are some vendors who re-export the games to other markets for higher prices. What surprised me more was how console sales are much more then PC even with regional pricing.

Another one...



Their previous games:
  • BlazBlue Cross Tag : $14 from $30
  • Under Night In-Birth : $12 from $40
I checked Steamdb and every dang country around me have way better prices then mine. What a joke. No way I'm bothering with publishers who do this at this point, it's getting ridiculous :unamused-face:
 
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Panda Pedinte

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People have different income levels in different countries. This guy thinking everyone lives cozy lives with infinite money, lol. Good on Bungie for listening and changed it back to be more affordable though.
It's lack of empathy plus pure ignorance.

There are people who really think we have the same income as them, others are just envy we are getting "cheaper" prices compared to them and convenently forgeting we don't make the same amount of money as them.